Ray, Rick - Living In An Insane World

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:33:00

Rick Ray is at it again, unleashing another disc upon the world. Like previous disks, this one makes socio-political statements, while also being a guitar-rock album. Given the current political climate in the US, he will have fodder for years to come. I won't, however, go into that aspect of his music except to say I think he's right leaning rather than left leaning.

While Living In An Insane World is mixed much better than some of his previous releases, this is more of the same groove, even if the pace is slightly faster or slower. The music seems stronger this time out, however, and thankfully, to me, Rick Schultz's clarinet appears infrequently (as before, it's not necessarily bad, just out of context). "March Of The Locust" reminded me of Djam Karet's "Topanga Safari" from Reflections From The Firepool, with added clarinet. The whole rhythm and arrangement underlying it is so similar - there are tangents that are different, though - a drum accent there, a guitar lick here.

Though not in track order, here are some of my thoughts on the other standout tracks. "Black Top Hat" is darkly moody, with a slight 80's Rush feel about it. The sonics here will remind one of Signals and Moving Pictures. But, that is a comparison that crops up quite a bit with Ray. "Guitarmy Ants" is a bit different, as it's a bit lighter, where Ray's playing is reminiscent of flamenco, meaning there's some Spanish overtones to the style of picking. Actually, this makes for quite a refreshing track because it isn't like nearly everything else he's done; and it's all instrumental. Conversely, the track that follows it, "Access Denied" is a bit chaotic. Schultz' clarinet takes the lead, being at once tonal and atonal. He's heading somewhere, but he isn't taking the shortest distance between two points. Of course, this style of "Guitarmy" returns on "Thoughts Of You," though the flamenco/Spanish style is considerably less so. It is a beautiful, all-guitar track that has a very live feel about it. Another highlight because it is, or least seems, to be something different for Ray. "Weaved Into Time" follows the different path as well ? somewhat like A Momentary Lapse Of Reason Pink Floyd in structure - a slow, squarish progression of notes that is far from Floyd's smooth rock. Ray's playing is nothing like Gilmour's here, though there are some interesting guitar textures, as Ray seems to discover riffs other than the typical rock riff. Actually, this song made me think of the outro to (I think) Simon and Garfunkle's "Mrs. Robinson."

"The Future, The End, Eternity" takes the opening riff from a Tubes track, "Talk Ta Ya Later" smoothes it out, but fuzzes it up and then goes into a different direction. "Time Moves On" is a bit Beatles-esque, post-Sgt. Pepper's. The title track consists of various sound bites, both verbal and sonic, that are often "out there."

The album ends on a note of extreme weirdness - basically someone having a bit of loopy fun with their audio equipment - or the aliens have landed.

Poured Into Their Mold (7:17) / Black Top Hat (4:06) / Guitarmy Ants (3:33) / Access Denied (5:03) / Living In An Insane World (6:17) / Thoughts Of You (2:52) / The Future, the End, Eternity (4:27) / March Of The Locust (5:44) / Weaved Into Time (5:56) / Burn Of The Century (4:34) / Mystery Babylon Interlude (1:18) / Watching The Clock (4:03) / Need You With Me (5:33) / Time Moves On (6:50) / Unnamed Track (2:00)

Rick Ray - guitar, bass, guitar synth, vocals, percussion, RX8, keyboards
Rick Schultz - clarinet, vocal

Abnormal Road (1999)
Balance Of Power (1999)
The Great Antagonist (1999)
Clone Man (1999)
Atomic Soldiers (1999)
Neurotic Tendencies (1999)
You People (1999)
Looking Into the Past (1999)
The Key To The Bottomless Pit (1999)
Cast Into Our Dimension (2000)
Living In An Insane World (2000)
Mind Control, Inc. (2000)
Guitarsenal (2000)
Manipulated DNA (2001)
Insanity Flies (2001)
Existing Passages (2002)
The Guitarsonist (2002)
Rick Ray Band - Into The Hands Of Sinners (2003)
Rick Ray Band - Out Of The Mist Of Obscurity (2003)
Rick Ray Band - Night Of The Living Dedicated (2004)
Chainsaw Manicure (2005)
Rick Ray Band - Temporary World (2005)
Rick Ray Band - Nothing To Lose (2007)
Rick Ray Band - Violence Marred By Peace (2008)
Rick Ray Band - The Setlist (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.rickray.net
Hits: 951
Language: english


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